FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2016
Lutheran Social Services of Nevada Expands Senior Meal Program
Program offers free, nutritious lunches for seniors
LAS VEGAS, NV – March 1, 2016 – More seniors, particularly those with low or fixed incomes, will have access to free, healthful lunches with the expansion of Lutheran Social Services of Nevada’s (LSSN) Senior Meal Program. Hot meals are served from 2:30-3:30 p.m. weekdays at Reformation Lutheran Church, 580 E. St. Louis Ave., and noon to 1 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, 6670 W. Cheyenne Ave. Seniors 60 and older and their spouses or caregivers, as well as disabled people who live in senior housing, eat for free (small donations are accepted but not required). Those under 60 can dine for a suggested $5 donation.
Not all seniors attend the meal program for financial reasons. Although most seniors who come to the meal sites have low or fixed incomes — and some are homeless — others enjoy the social time they provide.
“I come here to socialize and to make friends,” said Ruby, a senior who dines at Holy Spirit.
Meals are prepared by the Culinary Academy of Las Vegas, which significantly discounts the food cost to help LSSN serve more seniors in need. The menu changes daily and is posted on LSSN’s website, www.lssnv.org. Examples of meals served are turkey chili with a mixed green salad and low-fat dressing, and baked chicken with mixed veggies.
Kim Fiore, client nutrition services manager for LSSN, works with the Culinary Academy on menus that are guided by Nevada’s nutrition standards. Meals must contain a certain amount of protein, three servings of fruits and veggies and low-fat milk.
“We are delighted to expand this program as it makes a world of difference for seniors in need,” Fiore said. “This is the only congregate meal program of its kind for seniors in Las Vegas.”
The program began last February at Reformation; Holy Spirit began serving meals in October. In December, Reformation served 543 meals, and Holy Spirit served 190. More than 320 valley seniors are registered diners; many come to eat more than once a week. LSSN hopes to expand the program to at least one more site this year.
The program is funded by a grant from the Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division.
About Lutheran Social Services of Nevada
LSSN began serving the Las Vegas Valley in 1985, when the social ministry operated a food pantry and clothing closet. After earning nonprofit status in 1996 and adopting its current name, it began expanding services. This year, LSSN will celebrate 20 years in service to people in low-income, food-desert, urban-core areas of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas. Among the services LSSN provides is a client-choice, supermarket-style Food Pantry; a Nutrition Education Kitchen, where clients can attend cooking demonstrations and healthy eating classes; and the Empowerment Center, which is designed to assess clients’ needs and help them obtain Nevada IDs and/or birth certificates, SNAP benefits, rental and/or utility assistance and employment-related services, including computer classes and resume writing assistance. In addition to the Senior Meal Program, LSSN offers a seniors-only pantry shopping day and the fee-based Angels of Care program that provides in-home, nonmedical assistance.
LSSN is a member of Lutheran Services in America and is affiliated with Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod. It is the policy of Lutheran Social Services of Nevada that all services and programs will be in full compliance with all relevant local, state and federal laws governing nondiscrimination. To that end, no person, on the basis of age, sex, gender expression or identity, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, housing status or religion, will be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of or otherwise be subject to discrimination in the provision of any care or service provided by the agency.
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